Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Friday said he is a committed member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The governor insisted that no amount of gang-up against him within and outside the PDP would make him defect to another party.
There have been insinuations that the governor may defect from the PDP to the Social Democratic Party due to the unresolved disagreement between him and the leadership of the PDP over who controls the structure of the party in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the governor on Friday, his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, said talks between Ortom and other governorship aspirants within the PDP were still ongoing.
He said, “As l speak with you, there is no such thought (of defecting) at all. The governor has joined the PDP, he was in the PDP before he left and he has said that he has come back home. So, there is no such thought at all.
“Ortom is a true member of the PDP and is confident of flying the PDP flag in next year’s election. So, why should he think about leaving the PDP? There is no reason and no cause for such thought as I speak with you. l don’t have to comment about what any aspirant is saying because the PDP I know is a big family that makes decisions to accommodate all its members.
“The party is still discussing and decisions have yet to be reached, but l know that any decision taken would not make Ortom to leave the PDP again.”
The Publicity Secretary, SDP, Philip Awer, said the leaders of the party had been inundated with information about Ortom’s possible defection but noted that the governor had not contacted anyone in the party yet.
Philip said, “We have been receiving calls from people who want to find out; I read it online but I can tell you with authority that the governor has not called anyone. So, to me, it is a lie.”
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the PDP in the state has been in a fix over the governorship ticket.
An insider source in the state confirmed that the 12 governorship aspirants had threatened to defect to another party in the event that Ortom was given preference over other aspirants during the primary election.
“Assuming we all left the party the way he did in 2014, what would he have met on his return,” one of the aspirants, who did not want to be mentioned, said.
The winner of the primary election in 2014, Mr. Tehemen Tarzoor, in an interview with our correspondent, also said any attempt to give preference to the governor would spell doom for the party.